Click here to listen to the latest rail news on Thursday, 14th September 2023
InTheNews: The latest rail news on Thursday, 14th September 2023
Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are in discussions about scrapping the second stage of the HS2 rail project as costs spiral amid severe delays.
An article in The Independent says a cost estimate, seen by The Independent, reveals that the government has already spent £2.3 billion on stage two of the high-speed railway from Birmingham to Manchester but shelving the northern phase would save up to £34bn.
The documents, discussed at a meeting at No 10 on Tuesday headlined “chancellor and prime minister bilat”, suggest the £2.3 billion is now not recoverable even if it is cancelled. The Independent understands talks are ongoing.
A government spokesperson said: “You would expect No 10 and the Treasury to regularly discuss large infrastructure projects.
“Spades are already in the ground on the HS2 programme, and we remain focused on delivering that.”
Trainline has unveiled a £50m share buyback scheme, after soaring travel demand helped the ticketing firm shrug off industrial action on the UK’s railway network.
An article on City A.M. says Group net ticket sales grew by nearly a quarter to £2.6bn in the six months to August, taking revenues to £197m, a 20 per cent jump on last year.
Growth was led by Trainlines’ international segment, which grew 24 per cent to £559m and was driven by stellar performances in its key markets, Spain and Italy.
Work is well underway to improve passenger and freight journeys between Manchester and Liverpool over the world’s first railway viaduct.
Network Rail is investing £3.8 million to overhaul Sankey viaduct in Newton-le-Willows which opened in 1830.
Although not as well-known, long or iconic as Ribblehead in North Yorkshire, Sankey is hugely significant as the first major railway viaduct in the world, and birthplace of the modern railway.
Rail Partners hosted ‘Rail Partners with Ukraine’ a collective railway fundraiser. The event, in aid of the Global Ukraine Rail Task Force and its food package campaign, raised a £105,847, which means 7056 food parcels can be delivered directly to Ukrainian railway workers and their families.
Attendees heard from Oleg Yakovenko and Yuriy Nemchykov – representatives of Ukrainian Railways (UZ) who are responsible for delivering a functioning railway amid the current conflict.
They gave insights into coordinating the mass exodus of people in the early stages of the war; how the railway has been used in support of military personnel as well managing freight traffic such as grain exports; and how they have maintained the railway in the event of excessive damage to the infrastructure.
Photo credit: Network Rail